Distribution

Although primarily an Australasian family, the fantails distribute well beyond this region. Species are found in eastern Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas, southern China,

A willie wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) in flight. (Photo by C.H. Greenewalt/ VIREO. Reproduced by permission.)

southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the southwestern Pacific, east of Samoa and north to Micronesia. Several species may coexist, particularly in New Guinea, with up to seven found in the same locality. Some species are quite widespread, such as the white-throated fantail (R. albicollis), which is found from eastern Pakistan through south and southeast Asia to Borneo. Another example is the rufous fantail, which ranges from the Moluccas to the Santa Cruz islands in the east and to Micronesia in the north. Other species are restricted to only a single small island; the Ponape fantail (R. kubaryi) and Matthias fantail (R. matthiae) are endemic to Ponape, Micronesia, and to Mussau, in the Bismark Archipelago, respectively.

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